The NFL released a statement nearly a week ago following the tragic death of George Floyd and now they are admitting their previous mistakes. After some time to reflect on the situation, the NFL ‘admits we were wrong’ and reaffirms that Black Lives Matter.
In response to the events that have transpired in the past week, including nationwide protests against police brutality, Roger Goodell highlighted that the league has failed to address the issues at hand when they should have:
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv
— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
Of course, despite not saying his name, Goodell is speaking about Colin Kaepernick. In 2016, Kaepernick chose to take a knee during the national anthem while also speaking out publicly against police brutality and racial injustices. His choice to kneel during the national anthem caused controversy across the country.
Instead of supporting Kaepernick, the NFL — and Goodell himself — actually expressed their disagreement for what Kaepernick was doing. Following his decision to opt-out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after 2016, he’s been shunned by the NFL.
Fast forward to now, and the league is finally discovering that Kaepernick has been right the entire time. Besides the unfortunate death of Floyd in police custody, other instances of racial injustices have ignited an important conversation. Furthermore, players around the NFL have begun to stand against racial inequality.
Due to his stance years ago, Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since 2016. Even though he’s better than other quarterbacks in the league, no team has expressed much interest in signing him. While it’s a positive sign seeing the league realize their past shortcomings, they also need to address Kaepernick’s unemployment head-on.